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MDF splitting

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Forum topic by Walt posted 08-18-2010 04:52 PM 1769 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Walt

213 posts in 2301 days


08-18-2010 04:52 PM

I have been building a shop table project that has MDF as a frame. The plans called for butt joint, screwed and glued but even though I predrilled and used wax on the screws I still had some splitting of the end of the MDF piece. Is there a good way to prevent this
Walt447

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com


8 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4451 posts in 3423 days


#1 posted 08-18-2010 04:55 PM

The short answer is NO. It is just the nature of the beast.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View wseand's profile

wseand

2754 posts in 2504 days


#2 posted 08-18-2010 05:02 PM

Walt like Bill said it is what it is. Can you do a Dado on this project and Glue and nail it. Either that or some sort of cleat.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

325 posts in 2382 days


#3 posted 08-18-2010 05:04 PM

Like Bill said, it will happen. To minimize splitting I predrill with a big enough bit (slightly bigger than normal), keep screws more than 3” away from the end of the sheet, keep the screws over 6” apart and don’t screw them in overly tight. IMO screws don’t accomplish all that much in MDF and I basically only use a minimal amount of screws to help with assembly and gluing.

-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com

View jimp's profile

jimp

208 posts in 3223 days


#4 posted 08-18-2010 05:38 PM

When screwing into the end of MDF, use confirmat screws. They are designed for MDF. Here is some information on confirmat screws from Mcfeely's.

I also agree with SCROLL3R about staying away from the end of the sheet. The confirmat screws will help a lot.

-- - Jim, Carroll, OH

View Walt's profile

Walt

213 posts in 2301 days


#5 posted 08-18-2010 06:11 PM

Boy am I suprised to get answers this quick. Thanks. The way I handled these cracks was to fill them with epoxy and clamp them tight. The next day every thing was tight and square. The repair is very noticable but I will be covering it with plywood for a shelf so no one will know :)

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2594 days


#6 posted 08-19-2010 04:05 AM

If it splits, your predrilled hole is too small. However, a better method is to use a shallow dado, maybe 1/8” or even slightly less. This will keep the board from splitting.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2405 posts in 2388 days


#7 posted 08-19-2010 04:45 AM

I have drilled holes in the edge of the MDF (where I had to fasten close to an end or edge) with a 3/8 brad point bit, glued and inserted a 3/8 dowel, marked the location, then predrill and place your screws into the dowel, and it will hold and not split…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Walt's profile

Walt

213 posts in 2301 days


#8 posted 08-19-2010 02:00 PM

Thanks for all the good information. The project I am working on calls for a rail to hang a bench slave system using dowels to hold material against the from of the table. The plans call for MDF for this rail system but I am switchiing it to 3/4 inch oak since it will be under some stress.

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com

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